Think about the skills you'd like to develop

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When we think about the importance of skills it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Hard skills, soft skills, employability skills, transferrable skills, and workplace skills, there can be so many to consider and what these actually mean may be confusing.

A good way to identify the skills you’d like to develop is to break them down into personal skills and professional skills.

Personal (or people) skills are about how you interact and communicate with others. These tend to be soft skills which people naturally have but it’s not to say these can’t be gained or improved.

Examples of personal skills include:

  • empathy
  • patience
  • listening
  • self-motivation.

Personal skills are crucial in building relationships with peers and are a key part of getting on with co-workers.

Other personal skills that are important to have include:

  • thinking outside the box
  • being calm in a crisis
  • resilience (ie, knowing yourself, avoiding burnout, and coping with challenges).

Professional skills are a series of specific abilities that are needed to perform a particular job. Though there are some professional skills that are required for virtually all roles (eg, communication and teamwork), there will be certain skills – sometimes referred to as hard or technical skills – that will be needed depending on your profession or chosen sector, for example: coding, data analysis, and project management.

Due to limited work experience, you might be unsure of what to expect in a workplace or you might be unfamiliar with your rights at work. If so, this might be something you wish to explore and feel more informed about.

Valuable professional skills include:

  • demonstrating a genuine interest in the company
  • leadership/management skills
  • writing for difference audiences
  • planning skills
  • building and maintaining networks.

Everyone has a unique skill set. Would you like to add to yours, or perhaps you want to develop a skill you already have? Is there something you don’t particularly enjoy but would like to challenge yourself with, such as public-speaking or taking the lead?

Some of our strongest skills come from overcoming adversity or are skills we’ve had to actively work on over time.

There are many opportunities open to you throughout your time at the School where you can find information, build confidence, and develop skills.